A crash in oil prices has confirmed the dominance of fossil fuels, Opec ministers, and other energy producers said today at a seminar, but they also stated their commitment to fighting the pollution they generate.
“Fighting climate change cannot realistically mean fighting oil. It means fighting emissions,” Yvo de Boer, head of the United Nations climate change secretariat, told the conference.
“Low oil prices are the enemies to research into alternative sources,” Reuters quoted Eni chief executive Paolo Scaroni telling the conference. “What affects oil prices affects other energy sources. Oil must be at the center of any concept of sustainable development.”
Iran, for instance, was “supportive of any (environmental) measures, including carbon capture and storage,” the country’s Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said.
“Opec members have an important role to play in researching clean sources of energy… It would put open at the cutting edge of the transition to lower emissions technology,” de Boer told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN climate change secretariat said oil producers could suffer economically from climate change mitigation policies and that the developed world, which has polluted for generations, should share the financial burden.
“We are ready to bear our fair share but no more. We are ready to engage as long as a fair share goes to the oil producers and not more than that,” said Mohammad Al-Sabban.